An opposition group in Niger, the West African nation holding elections to return to democratic rule, dominated in results announced from this week’s municipal vote, according to the electoral commission.
The Coordination of Democratic Forces for the Republic, which opposes the party of ex-President Mamadou Tandja, won 286 of 387 local council seats announced so far, said Abdourhamane Ghousmane, the chairman of the Niamey-based commission. Tandja’s party took 90 seats, he told reporters today. More results will be announced tomorrow.
Voting was held “in calm and serenity, despite some logistical difficulties,” Ghousmane said. The election marks a step in the return to civilian-led administration in Niger, the world’s sixth-biggest uranium producer, following a military coup in February that ousted Tandja from office. Presidential and parliamentary votes will be held Jan. 31.
Tandja’s party claimed irregularities in some regions and called for the vote in those places to be canceled, Moussa Harouna, nation director of propaganda for the MNSD, told Dounia, a Niamey-based television station. The opposition CDFR said they were “pleased with the conduct” of the vote, spokesman Oumarou Moumouni Dogar said in an interview.